The American Sociological Association on Saturday released the results of a marriage study which found that women drink more while men drink less following marriage.
Researchers examined the lifestyles of married, divorced, and widowed women and found that married women consume more alcohol on a more regular basis. The study also found that happily married men drink less than single male friends and far less than divorced men.
The study’s results found that women drink more because their husbands tend to be bad influences on their drinking choices and do very little to discourage heavier drinking while women are more likely to speak up and tell their husbands to drink less.
While studies in the past have shown that married people in a happy home tend to drink less than non-married people, this study is the first known to separate married and non-married people based on gender.
The groups researchers led by sociologist Corinne Reczek, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati, examined a long-running study regarding thousands of people in Wisconsin. The group then examined 120 interviews of married, divorced, widowed, and single people to determine their lifestyles.
Researchers also looked at a separate set of 120 interviews with married, divorced, widowed, and single people about their lifestyles.
The study found that men overall drink more consistently than women and more often have drinking problems; however, married men drink significantly less than non-married males.
What might be most telling was that men drank more after a break-up or the death of their partner while women drank less if they were divorced or widowed.
The study concluded:
“Our qualitative results suggest this occurs because men introduce and prompt women’s drinking, and because divorced women lose the influence of men’s alcohol use upon dissolution.”
“Additionally, our survey results show that continuously married men drink less than men in all other marital status groups, especially recently divorced men.”
Married people have a lower rate of pre-mature death, which might be in part explained by their lesser drinking habits.
Researchers plan to further explore the relationship between alcohol consumption and the marital status of men and women.
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